Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Togo: A Day In The Life Of A SCAW Travelling Volunteer!

It is already the day for distribution 7 and so we are gathered in the van for a 7 am start, after having our usual breakfast of croissants and baguettes and delicious pineapple and mangoes. We sure will miss that when we return home. We have a long way to go and the earlier start helps to avoid the heavy traffic as we head out of Lome.

It is fascinating to watch the people - on foot, on motorcycles, and in cars and trucks, many loaded down with all kinds of things, from produce, to furniture, to goats on the roof.

We reach our destination - safely and in good time due to Mensah's excellent driving.

The site looks a little chaotic, but quickly the teachers organize the excited children, who are already dressed in their bright SCAW t-shirts. They wave and clap as we drive in and we have the setup down to a science now. Ian and Stuart get out the harmonicas and soon the crowd of children are singing and clapping with big smiles on their faces. We also get the bubbles and the balloons going while they wait for the distribution to start.

My job today is to interview 3 parents of children after they have received their bedkits. We ask them about their family life, their sleeping habits, and if they have any suggestions for items for future distributions.

Most of the children sleep on the ground with no mosquito nets and so they are excited to see the mosquito nets in the bedkits. Suggestions for things they would like to see include a hat, a container for water, and closed toe shoes. Suggestions for a bed or a bicycle get a big laugh. Most families walk to the distribution but today two came by motorcycle, one from 22 Km. away.

Things go quickly and we are back on the road shortly after noon to have lunch in the van - Bill's delicious avocado sandwiches.

We run into a torrential rainstorm on the way home but in Lome, it has not rained.

So we're home by 3:30 - for showers, to write reports and check the pictures.

Another successful day. Another 500 bedkits distributed and we are now up to 3500.

Only 2500 to go.

Barb Simpson
Team Togo 2018
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